Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teens Say the Darnedest Things

It seems completely ludicrous--the babble that comes from the mouths of teens. I mean, seriously, toddler babble sounded more credible, didn't it? Do they really hear themselves? Or maybe it's not a matter of hearing, but rather comprehending.

Like tonight. Frank comes into to help with the dishes. There's a counter full that needs to be put away. He puts away the first dish, turns and looks at me with an incredulous expression and asks, "Now, why do these need to put away?" I return the incredulous stare, but he doesn't get the message. I muster patience and explain, "We're getting ready to eat dinner. There will be more dishes to wash. Where will I put those to dry if that counter is full?" This time he looks at me like I'm the stupid one and points to the other, cleared off counter. Duh!

I'm beginning to wonder what's so wrong with that "Because I said so" comment we were taught was not good parenting.

But the "why do we have to put dishes away" comment is mild, really, in comparison to other quotable moments like...

...when Carmen was grounded from her phone. After a week of angry tantrums I tried to explain that when she was more respectful, she'd get the phone back and she and answered, "Well, I'd be more respectful and nicer to everyone if you'd just give it back first. I think that would be a better deal for everyone."

...when Kate was on her way out the door to school after I had tried to give her a Be Positive Pep Talk, and she answered, "I can be a positive as you want, Mom. That doesn't change the fact that everyone around me is a dumb ass."

...when I explained to Sophie that she really does have to help with dishes because she lives here, she eats here, and she does, in fact, dirty dishes from time to time, and she answered, "So." Then she walked off.

What's really fun is getting to see that teen twit perspective tweeted all over Twitterdom.

"...when my parents don't let me go where I want" #itsmydecision
"...when my mom stalks me on twitter" #getofftwittermom

So, what's a Roaring Mom to do when the teens have got it all figured out? After all, we're just fuddy-duddies living in their world. Perhaps I should try harder to understand their language. Maybe I should brush up on my Eye Roll and the Huff and Stomp. Maybe an angry tantrum or two followed by a well placed So and Walk Off would help. Yeah, that's it. I think that would be a better deal for everyone!

Then maybe, once I really get the teen lingo down, I'll hashtag it to my friends! #becauseisaidso

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It Sneaks Up On You

I truly never thought this day would come. I really didn't. They all kept telling me to "just wait", and I laughed. HA! My sweet boy would never turn into... a teenager.

I gloated when he turned 13 and didn't turn into that alien other parents describe as invading their children's bodies. I pitied the poor mothers whose sons exuded more attitude than all of my teenage girls put together. Those poor mothers. Those poor, poor mothers.

Then it happened. It was a small and sudden change. It could have easily been disregarded or explained away if it had been an isolated thing. But it wasn't.

Just today, after, I mean inviting...Frank to join me on Saturday errand running, the following occurred:

ME: (Random funny comment)
FRANK: eye roll
ME: Hey, did you hear me, I said...
FRANK: I heard it. It was funny. I just didn't laugh.

It wasn't really so much what he said, (although he used to ALWAYS laugh, even when it wasn't funny) as it was the way he said it. And the eye roll! What was the deal with that eye roll?!

Then we got home and he disappeared. I found him hours later in his room chatting it up with his Facebook friends. This was the same kid who incessantly harassed his older sister last year for her Facebook obsession. I, I mean invited, him to join us in the family room. I watched carefully for the eye roll. Luckily, it didn't come. However, it was replaced by the resigned, "Fiiiiiine." I guess I should be grateful it wasn't followed by the Huff and Stomp.

It's happened. It has really happened. I guess I blinked or something. My saving hope is that he's a good kid, he's not female, and he's watched his poor, poor mother go through the teenage thing with his three sisters, so maybe he'll take it easy on me.

Nevertheless, this Roaring Mom's advice to all parents whose kids aren't yet teens--don't blink.